ANDREWS, Texas (KLBK) – The National Transportation Safety Board said Thursday that a 13-year-old was not the driver in a deadly March 15 crash that killed nine people, despite statements made by NTSB officials earlier this year.
The day after the deadly crash — which claimed the lives of six college athletes, their coach, the 13-year-old boy and his father — the NTSB vice chairman had indicated that the 13-year-old was driving. However, a crash report released by the Texas Department of Public Safety had cast doubt on that assertion.
DNA testing results confirmed that 38-year-old Henrich Siemens was driving the Dodge 2500 pickup truck that crashed into a transit van carrying nine people with the University of The Southwest golf team, the NTSB said Thursday.
“NTSB postcrash toxicological testing revealed the presence of methamphetamine in the pickup truck driver’s blood,” the board said in a news release.
Additionally, the NTSB said it has found no evidence of “sudden or rapid loss of tire air pressure or any other indicators of catastrophic failure,” in the pickup truck. The NTSB previously reported in March that the left tire of the pickup truck failed prior to impact.
Six of those killed were members of the University of the Southwest’s golf team. The coach, 26-year-old Tyler James, was also killed. Two players, 19-year-old Dayton Price and 20-year-old Hayden Underhill, were taken to University Medical Center in Lubbock with serious injuries.
Siemens, as well as his 13-year-old son, were also killed.
The NTSB’s latest news release, as well as updates to the investigation details, are currently available to view at NTSB.gov. Dr. Robert Molloy, the NTSB Director of Highway Safety, was also planning to speak to members of the media about the latest findings on Thursday afternoon.